Homare Sawa notches No. 1 spot

Originally Published: July 19, 2011
ESPN

The Women's World Cup MVP and leading scorer is our leading lady in this week's Cross-Sport Power Rankings. Japan captain Homare Sawa came through for her team when it mattered most, taking a corner kick from Aya Miyama and deftly deflecting it past U.S. keeper Hope Solo to send the game to penalty kicks.

From there, netminder Ayumi Kaihori controlled the tempo. Her diving foot save knocked aside the first shot from Shannon Boxx, and after Carli Lloyd sent one soaring over the crossbar, Kaihori made a confident save on Tobin Heath's dribbler.

No one can deny the feel-good powers of bringing happiness to a nation ravaged by disaster, but did our panel vote with its hearts and snub another stellar athletic achievement? Did Kyle Busch's record-breaking race or Darren Clarke's British Open win deserve more credit? Let us know in the comments section below.

Our all-star panel: John Buccigross, Robert Flores, DJ Gallo, Dana Jacobson, Jim Basquil, Kevin Connors, Will Selva, Jeff MacGregor and Trey Wingo.

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